Training preaching trainers in Fiji … and elsewhere!
Stephen Williams, Regional Coordinator for Langham Preaching in the South Pacific, writes:
During September and October this year an online “Train the Trainers” course has been run for people in Fiji who have completed Langham preacher training. Our gifted facilitator was Andy Shudall – a Baptist pastor in NZ. Three things struck me:
First – how appreciated Langham training is. The motivation to do this course came from Fiji where trainees were being bombarded with invitations to come and train others. Word had got out!
Secondly – when people, looking back over levels of training, were asked what they prized most, they didn’t report a technique or method (although they valued these things). Rather, it was having their eyes opened to the ‘one story of the Bible’ – seeing the Bible as a unity from beginning to end focused on Christ.
Thirdly – the extent and encouragement of the Langham family as we opened the course to others.
Two pastors from the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea and the team of trainers for Aboriginal preachers in Australia came on board.
A Fijian brother who is working with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory linked in.
Dwi Handayani, who oversees Langham training in Asia and the South Pacific and is based in Bandung, Indonesia, also became a participant and valued contributor. Connections have been made and a fellowship established across the region.
So how do we come out of lockdown?
I would ask your prayers for wisdom, preparedness and patience. Opening up will likely be uneven. Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have successfully kept COVID out but have low vaccination rates.
Papua New Guinea and Fiji have been hit hard. We have lost people. Pastoral care is needed. Strategic planning is needed in PNG. There is a Line-Up meeting in Tonga to re-schedule. We long to start the next training (twice postponed) of Aboriginal preachers.
But if anyone thinks the above implies starting again where we left off in 2019 they would be wrong. The world of the South Pacific is changing. COVID-19 has meant people have had to step up and take responsibility in passing on what they know. New ways of training are being tried. There is a new confidence about.
Thank you for your interest, support and prayers
… for the preaching of God’s Word in this region so close to Australia, often overlooked, yet so rich in people unashamed of their faith in the living God and anxious to make Him known.
Please join us in prayer for …
Pray for Egyptian Scholar George Bishai who was in Australia before the pandemic. Pray for him as he seeks to complete his PhD back in Egypt this year. Pray also for Joseph Byamukama from Uganda, being supported specifically through Langham Australia. Pray for Joseph as he studies at home in Kampala and looks forward to visiting Ridley College in Melbourne when borders are open.
Pray also for Riad Kassis, Director of the Scholars Program, as he lives and tries to work in very difficult circumstances in Lebanon.
A weekend of Prayer and Praise will be held at the end of this month. Please pray for our continental leadership teams as they plan online prayer events to draw participants to pray for the work of Langham Preaching around the world. Pray also for the many volunteer Coordinators across the world.
Please pray for God to preserve the Langham Preaching movements in countries like the DR Congo and other places which do not have good internet connectivity.
Please pray for the various editorial teams involved in the large one-volume commentary projects, particularly those involved in the Africa Bible Commentary (revised edition), the Central and Eastern European Bible Commentary, and the Central Asian Bible Commentary. The projects are all at various stages, pray for effective and efficient work as these important resources are edited and proof-read.
Pray also for those working on the Urdu, Malayalam and Tamil translations of the South Asia Bible Commentary, all of which are very close to being finished.
Please pray for the International Leadership Team meeting this month: for a continued sense of ‘team’ as they once again have to meet virtually and for wisdom and creative thought as they work through strategic plans for the ministry. Please also pray for the Langham Partnership International Council as they meet virtually from around the globe. Pray that God would bless these meetings, give discernment and help them to be effective.
Gillean Smiley writes …
The Preaching seminars planned for indigenous pastors and for rural and regional Church leaders (a new initiative in Australia) have both been postponed due to COVID restrictions.
Please pray for these events as we re-organise them, as we believe it is so important for all people who are teaching and preaching the Bible to have training and support that will help them to teach clearly, faithfully and with relevance. While we have access to more resources in Australia than most of our brothers and sisters, nevertheless there are those who through physical isolation and other barriers are in need of the support that the Langham Preaching training can bring.
We pray that those who are blessed in this way in Australia might not only bring blessings to their own congregations through their preaching, but become part of the global hunger for increasing depth and maturity in the church. Thank you for your ongoing help to bring Preaching training to where it is most needed!